Early Dialogs between Mother and Infant. A Study on the Situation of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants in the Process of Early Education

Authors: Horsch, Ursula

From the very first day of life parents are in close contact with their infant. They introduce as well other people as the world to their newborn in a mutually dialogical way. Proceeding hand in hand they pass on basic dialogical competences which are responsible for the development of Early Education.

The research project Dialogic Development of Infants (Horsch et al. since 2004) addresses the broad dialogic development of parents and infants within the first 18 months of life. Our objective is to describe these preverbal dialogs and their relevance for processes of education. The following presented research project is realized in Germany, but we just start at SEKOMU with this study. So we are able to take the pictures out of the SEKOMU project.

Particular emphasis will be placed on these dialogic elements: vocalisation of the infants, dialogic echo and greeting behaviour of the parents and motherese/fatherese. The empirical date is derived from a longitudinal study within the first 18 months of the infant´s life. The data is collected monthly by video recording in a natural setting. Computerized analyses (interact) are used for the evaluation of the data to study the correlations among the dialogic elements.

The significant correlations of infants with normal hearing are compared with the data of the deaf or hard of hearing infants and are discussed in relation to aspects of Bildung.